DAY 1: Seeing the highlights in New York City
If it`s your first time in New York City and you only have a limited time to visit this vibrant city, I suggest you start with taking a ride on the Hop-on-Hop-off bus. (I know it`s touristy, but it is a good way to see a lot in a short time, that`s why I suggest it if you`re limited in time.)
For those who aren`t familiar with this system, these buses make a loop through the city and passes by all the highlights. If you want to visit a landmark, you just ‘hop off’ the bus and walk around. As soon as you`re finished, you ‘hop on’ the next bus, these buses run every 30 minutes. You can find these bus systems in almost all the big cities. I`ve used them in several cities and NY was one of the most pleasurable ones, as NY has a lot of high buildings and if you`re walking the streets you sometimes miss the beauty up there!
You can either stay on the bus for the whole loop to see all the highlights and go back to the ones you want to see up close. This also depends on how much time you have. Maybe you already have some landmarks on your list and this way you reach them quicker than walking. New York is a big city that has five boroughs: The Bronx, Brooklyn, Manhattan, Queens, and Staten Island and has a land area of 305 square miles (790 km2). However, if you have the time, I do suggest to also walk around as you can really feel the vibrancy of the city this way.
Won`t call them ‘must do’ as everybody has different interests, but probably everybody has heard from these…
- Statue of Liberty
- Chrysler Building
- Times Square
- Wall Street
- Ground Zero
- Bryant Park
- Flatiron Building
- Empire State Building
- Brooklyn Bridge
- Grand Central Station
These are just a few of the many places of interest you can go see and visit. Like I said before, New York has so many interesting places, the list is too long to name them all. You can find more info on the official website of NY: www.nycgo.com
Personal Tip: I`ve been on top of the Empire State Building and also on Top of the Rock (at Rockefeller center). Personally I liked Top of the Rock better, as this way you have a view over the city, you see the Empire State Building AND you have a great view over Central Park!
If you want to see all the places above you`ll definitely need your day. So I suggest to hold off a visit to the Statue of Liberty and Central Park for one of the next days.
When I bought my Hop-on-Hop-off, it included a 48 hours ‘hop-on hop-off’ ticket, a ticket for a boat trip (This is a harbor cruise and gives you the opportunity to see the Statue of Liberty and the skyline of NY from the water. You can`t get off at Liberty Island, you take a ferry for that.) and entrance to the Museum of the City of New York. There is a Downtown, Uptown & Harlem tour with stops and a Brooklyn tour without stops, which takes you through trendy and historic neighborhoods offering you unforgettable views of the famous Brooklyn Bridge along the way. Don’t forget the night tour, which I strongly recommend of doing, as you have to see NY with all its lights!!
If you go on the night tour, your evening will be filled already. Try to walk around Times Square before or after you take the bus (usually departures from here), because you have to see the bill boards with all the lights. It`s a bit like Las Vegas, during the day the Strip is just a road with hotels on each side, but at night, it has something spectacular!
As for food options during the day, New York has such a diversity, you can find almost everything here. It depends in which area of the city you are, but here are a few eating places in New York.
Haven`t decided where to stay yet? Check out these NY hotels.